Search found 128 matches

by robphoto
Wed Dec 11, 2019 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Microsoft Office [for Mac] 2019; SLOW AS MOLASSES charts?
Replies: 12
Views: 611

Re: Microsoft Office [for Mac] 2019; SLOW AS MOLASSES charts?

Two thoughts:

- can you reinstall Office 2011 and see if it's better?

- I use Open Office on my Mac, and it seems to run well enough; you could try downloading it (it's free, optional donation) and see if its spreadsheet program runs better for you
by robphoto
Sat Nov 30, 2019 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Camera Question
Replies: 69
Views: 2664

Re: Camera Question

Definitely have her try the cameras in a store. I can read reviews extensively, but when I pick up and try the cameras I'll have a visceral preference for one over the other.

Oh, and B&H is rock solid, excellent service. You can call them with questions and talk to someone who knows cameras.
by robphoto
Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you replace this laptop?
Replies: 30
Views: 2170

Re: Would you replace this laptop?

You might consider the $699. previous model MacBook Air that's on sale now, or the $899. current model (both at Amazon)

Very light, you can FaceTime on it, use your USB disk drive when you need that.
by robphoto
Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DSLRs: canon 5d IV vs ?
Replies: 88
Views: 3786

Re: DSLRs: canon 5d IV vs ?

The sensor resolution is less in crop mode, but is the viewfinder (or rear lcd) resolution sufficiently lower than either FF or crop sensor resolution that the view would be indistinguishable? The display looks the same when you're in crop mode, so much so that I have more than once made the error ...
by robphoto
Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DSLRs: canon 5d IV vs ?
Replies: 88
Views: 3786

Re: DSLRs: canon 5d IV vs ?

The sensor resolution is less in crop mode, but is the viewfinder (or rear lcd) resolution sufficiently lower than either FF or crop sensor resolution that the view would be indistinguishable? The display looks the same when you're in crop mode, so much so that I have more than once made the error ...
by robphoto
Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investment issues for dying Mother
Replies: 18
Views: 1580

Re: Investment issues for dying Mother

I don't see why the OP feels the need to move the money now. There has to be a lot of other complexity to deal with, like making sure the health directives, estate planning, etc. are in order. The current allocation is reasonable, you're only talking about a year or so (one never knows with these th...
by robphoto
Mon Nov 25, 2019 6:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on homeowner insurance on first home
Replies: 18
Views: 1406

Re: Advice on homeowner insurance on first home

We've used Amica for five generations, and they've been good. I'd still get quotes from a few of the main players, though, because the rates can vary a lot between companies depending on your situation. Many you can do online or over the phone. Also, it won't necessarily cost more through an agent, ...
by robphoto
Wed Nov 20, 2019 9:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DSLRs: canon 5d IV vs ?
Replies: 88
Views: 3786

Re: DSLRs: canon 5d IV vs ?

If you can afford it, I would get whatever she wants; maybe go to a camera store with her and let her have fun trying out the cameras. I needed to get a new backup camera recently, and I bought the Canon EOS R (new mirrorless) instead of the 5D Mark IV, mainly for the electronic viewfinder, ability...
by robphoto
Wed Nov 20, 2019 8:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DSLRs: canon 5d IV vs ?
Replies: 88
Views: 3786

Re: DSLRs: canon 5d IV vs ?

If you can afford it, I would get whatever she wants; maybe go to a camera store with her and let her have fun trying out the cameras. I needed to get a new backup camera recently, and I bought the Canon EOS R (new mirrorless) instead of the 5D Mark IV, mainly for the electronic viewfinder, ability ...
by robphoto
Mon Nov 18, 2019 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2018 RAV4 Hybrid. Any known problem?
Replies: 13
Views: 1411

Re: 2018 RAV4 Hybrid. Any known problem?

The new series RAV4 Hybrid (2019) gets higher mileage: 41 city / 38 Highway vs. 34 city / 30 highway for the previous model.

You may never make up the cost in gas savings, but if you enjoy low fuel usage, it might be a consideration, especially as we're at the end of the 2019 model year.
by robphoto
Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard keeps pushing their financial advisors...why?
Replies: 93
Views: 7825

Re: Vanguard keeps pushing their financial advisors...why?

I don't have the link to the particular video, but I know in one of the interviews with John Bogle he mentions that Vanguard's keeping executive compensation secret is one thing he disagrees with.
by robphoto
Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has anyone used MySolo401k.com, DiscountSolo401k.com, or Solo401k.com?
Replies: 147
Views: 8521

Re: Has anyone used MySolo401k.com, DiscountSolo401k.com, or Solo401k.com?

I have used the Vanguard Solo 401K. I have both a Roth and Traditional. They will walk you through things over the phone, and have specialists in the small business section who are very knowledgable. As someone mentioned early on, you can go to the max using the employer side contributions, dependin...
by robphoto
Wed Oct 23, 2019 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bike Trainer?
Replies: 7
Views: 493

Re: Bike Trainer?

You'll probably want to get a smoother rear tire (whatever's cheap) for riding on the trainer.
by robphoto
Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:06 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Learnings/Regrets from last two recessions
Replies: 91
Views: 12583

Re: Learnings/Regrets from last two recessions

Learnings? I'm assuming you meant lessons. I didn't sell, and I bought more. My regret is that I bought at a normal pace. I think part of the hunger for bad financial news is that we wish we could go back to March 2009 and back up the truck. "Learning" as a noun makes my skin crawl every time I hea...
by robphoto
Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Different" things to do in Tokyo
Replies: 20
Views: 1991

Re: "Different" things to do in Tokyo

Enoshima is an island near Kamakura which you can reach with a one hour, 630 yen train from Tokyo Station. It is just off the mainland, connected by a causeway. It is popular, so I would go early in the day. Also, one walks around the island and it's a fair bit of up and down, so you have to be able...
by robphoto
Mon Sep 30, 2019 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Half of Retirees Afraid to Use Savings
Replies: 111
Views: 12935

Re: Half of Retirees Afraid to Use Savings

Still spending on hobbies, but have been reluctant to spend $4k on a camera lens I'd really like to have! Tried fishing, which I used to love, but it just didn't "catch" with me this year. Maybe next year it will. This is off the main topic, but if you want to have some fun with lenses, and without...
by robphoto
Wed Sep 25, 2019 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solar panel advice & experiences
Replies: 64
Views: 3031

Re: Solar panel advice & experiences

That does sound like a long payback period. We had a system installed last year with net metering, and haven't paid for electricity since then. Our payback was calculated at about 7 years. A 17 year payback is so far in the future, I wonder if it really saves money compared to investing the money el...
by robphoto
Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $2k repairs on $12K car
Replies: 81
Views: 5385

Re: $2k repairs on $12K car

That car doesn't have a lot of miles, and will easily go another 100K. After six years, it's not that surprising to do brakes and fluids. Whether or not all the fluid changes and flushes are necessary, you could debate; you might want to look at the owner's manual to see what the maintenance recomme...
by robphoto
Mon Sep 02, 2019 6:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Not gaining weight on vacation?
Replies: 115
Views: 6125

Re: Not gaining weight on vacation?

On our trips to Japan I usually lose weight; I think these are the reasons: -- lots of walking -- not always in a hotel with breakfast; might be only an onigiri, a yogurt and tea from the 7-11 -- even when there is breakfast, the asian options can be light in calories-- think rice, small egg serving...
by robphoto
Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawn Tractor Recommendations?
Replies: 26
Views: 1955

Re: Lawn Tractor Recommendations?

All good suggestions above-- I would definitely get the local mower repair place to pick it up and fix it. You might get another 10 years for several hundred dollars, and get the mower back running great, sharp blades, ready to go! That's what I did with my 42" Murrray (very basic lawn tractor). Or ...
by robphoto
Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we move
Replies: 45
Views: 4178

Re: Should we move

It's definitely nice when the house is set up so you are seeing your kids, they're not way up in the far part of the house with their own bath, etc. When you say that you're in a great neighborhood, great schools, close to work, etc., I focus on the fact that with your move you would lose close to a...
by robphoto
Tue Jul 30, 2019 5:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Photo retouching services
Replies: 12
Views: 995

Re: Photo retouching services

Here are my suggestions: -- if it's just scratches, etc, you could learn how to do it yourself; either download Gimp (free) or subscribe to Photoshop for a month or two, and watch youtube videos -- if you want someone to do it at moderate expense, you could try Craigslist (ask for samples, give them...
by robphoto
Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please help, Father dying & losing homes
Replies: 22
Views: 3168

Re: Please help, Father dying & losing homes

Definitely worth checking if VA applies; as far as Vietnam draft, he would have been too young. This from Wikipedia: "The draft numbers issued from 1972 to 1975 were not used to call any men into service as the last draft call was on December 7, and authority to induct expired July 1, 1973." In 1975...
by robphoto
Sat Jul 13, 2019 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: First post of confused retiree
Replies: 20
Views: 3587

Re: First post of confused retiree

I second the recommendation to shift your equities to another brokerage, like Vanguard. You've got to look at how much capital gains you have in the account; if it's 20 Dividend Aristocrats, it may make sense to just keep the stocks, and not sell them; probably wouldn't do drastically different from...
by robphoto
Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay student loans via cash-out refinance?
Replies: 41
Views: 2360

Re: Pay student loans via cash-out refinance?

One other point from our experience: if you can do a 15 year mortgage, you will be clear of the mortgage when the kids are in college, so it's much easier to cash flow tuition or other college expenses then.
by robphoto
Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Long Weekend Beach Getaway
Replies: 14
Views: 1212

Re: Long Weekend Beach Getaway

I'd highly recommend stretching your stay to 4 nights. We've done our far share of beach travel on the east coast and we have found when you factor in travel and getting settled in an unfamiliar place, 4 nights suits us best for the experience we are looking for. Just to name a few: You could fly i...
by robphoto
Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My situation and a new vehicle
Replies: 31
Views: 3232

Re: My situation and a new vehicle

Are you still making payments on the old Forester? i bought my current 2009 model used in 2010. If i am still making payments on that, I need more help than this forum can offer. OK. This is a quote from your original post: "At the current time I have 11 months left on my school loans. I am big on ...
by robphoto
Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My situation and a new vehicle
Replies: 31
Views: 3232

Re: My situation and a new vehicle

Definitely wait on the new car. Even if you knew you had to do the gasket tomorrow, a year of depreciation of the new car costs more than the 1500. Remember also your insurance will be higher, and also the excise tax on the new vehicle will be more. The cost of the car will also include sales tax (d...
by robphoto
Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Photography business early stage, tax and other
Replies: 33
Views: 3128

Re: Photography business early stage, tax and other

Don't know if this has been addressed above: -- you can deduct equipment up to a pretty high amount in the year you buy it, per section 179 up to 1,000,000 dollars -- one advantage of a side business is that you can have a Solo 401K, which can be a Roth if you want, with a higher allowed contributio...
by robphoto
Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Advice for young married couples: PLEASE HELP!
Replies: 49
Views: 4407

Re: Advice for young married couples: PLEASE HELP!

As far as buying a house as newlyweds, I'm saying it worked for us, not to teach it to the class; you seemed to be proclaiming a universal law that that would be impossible, or extremely low odds. To get back to something that might be useful to the OP, when we were engaged, part of the weekend we ...
by robphoto
Tue Jun 18, 2019 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Advice for young married couples: PLEASE HELP!
Replies: 49
Views: 4407

Re: Advice for young married couples: PLEASE HELP!

As far as buying a house as newlyweds, I'm saying it worked for us, not to teach it to the class; you seemed to be proclaiming a universal law that that would be impossible, or extremely low odds. To get back to something that might be useful to the OP, when we were engaged, part of the weekend we h...
by robphoto
Tue Jun 18, 2019 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?
Replies: 69
Views: 4778

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

Your vision is very important-- you chose the best you could get for it, just enjoy them! I know it's especially important when you're worried about trouble with your eyes. My wife has some sight issues, she gets the best available lenses, I'm glad we can do that. My vision is relatively good, I get...
by robphoto
Tue Jun 18, 2019 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Advice for young married couples: PLEASE HELP!
Replies: 49
Views: 4407

Re: Advice for young married couples: PLEASE HELP!

If you could offer advice to these couples just starting out together, what would you say? What has your experience been and what did you learn from it? We'd like to share some of your insights/wisdom with them, and encourage them to become lifelong students of finance (as we have become thanks to ...
by robphoto
Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Advice for young married couples: PLEASE HELP!
Replies: 49
Views: 4407

Re: Advice for young married couples: PLEASE HELP!

If you could offer advice to these couples just starting out together, what would you say? What has your experience been and what did you learn from it? We'd like to share some of your insights/wisdom with them, and encourage them to become lifelong students of finance (as we have become thanks to ...
by robphoto
Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of mini split installation? [Ductless Air Conditioning/ Heat]
Replies: 36
Views: 3445

Re: Cost of mini split installation? [Ductless Air Conditioning/ Heat]

As far as which brand, I would go with the brand the chosen installer favors-- they have the most expertise with the quirks of the particular system, and won't blame issues on not using the system they like. We have a Mitsubishi mini-split (wall-mounted, about 3,000 installed) but another of the peo...
by robphoto
Fri May 24, 2019 7:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: just a general comment about "too conservative" investors here
Replies: 151
Views: 16114

Re: just a general comment about "too conservative" investors here

I figure that 10 years into a bull market, the fact that my 60/40 portfolio feels "annoyingly conservative" to me, probably means it's ok.
by robphoto
Tue May 21, 2019 11:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Has anyone heard of this guy
Replies: 12
Views: 2420

Re: Has anyone heard of this guy

the site talks mainly about "guaranteed income for life," so, annuities
by robphoto
Mon May 20, 2019 8:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Completely freaked out about withdrawing from retirement accounts....
Replies: 75
Views: 10902

Re: completely freaked out about withdrawing from retirement accounts....

I hope the people suggesting she put all her money in the guaranteed return account are not serious! It's good that she can take advantage of that with some of her money, and the rest in diversified funds. Putting all her money there would put her retirement all at the mercy of the solvency of the N...
by robphoto
Sun May 19, 2019 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace possible failing tv or not (solved)
Replies: 33
Views: 2634

Re: Replace possible failing tv or not

So it sounds like, the money doesn't matter (except in trying to optimize rewards, etc.; more of a game). I think you can do whatever you think would be more fun-- go shop at the stores, read about what might be coming in new TV's, read Consumer Reports reviews, etc., or just pick some TV that looks...
by robphoto
Tue May 14, 2019 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 56 Retired, Just Widowed, Need $$ Overhaul Assistance Please
Replies: 18
Views: 4088

Re: 56 Retired, Just Widowed, Need $$ Overhaul Assistance Please

I mentioned it above, but if you're in the 12% bracket, in my state you would get an Affordable Care Act subsidy of over $300. per month on your healthcare plan.
by robphoto
Mon May 13, 2019 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Email to my Edward Jones Rep
Replies: 46
Views: 4637

Re: Email to my Edward Jones Rep

I also would just start with the transfer; if you want to send him a note to let him know you are doing it for reasons of simplicity and cost, you can do that. I'm sure he knows his costs are higher than Vanguard's. It's his job to convince you that you ought to leave the existing account money ther...
by robphoto
Sun May 12, 2019 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dale Carnegie training
Replies: 23
Views: 2738

Re: Dale Carnegie training

Warren Buffet credits it as critical to him; it got him over his fear of public speaking. My Dad took it as a company sponsored thing, he found it useful. I could be worthwhile for you; you could also get the concepts by reading Dale Carnegie's books, which are probably available at your public libr...
by robphoto
Fri May 10, 2019 7:15 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 56 Retired, Just Widowed, Need $$ Overhaul Assistance Please
Replies: 18
Views: 4088

Re: 56 Retired, Just Widowed, Need $$ Overhaul Assistance Please

If you don't have a high income, you probably qualify for an ACA subsidy.

Even if you don't think you would qualify, go online and enter your income, etc. and you may find that you will have substantial savings.

They are plans from Blue Cross, etc.

Definitely worth a look and could really help you.
by robphoto
Fri May 10, 2019 6:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?
Replies: 59
Views: 6800

Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

re: Red Pocket: I was on Ting, when my usage got too high I switched to Red Pocket. I've been on it about a year, and it was pretty painless to convert. I am on the Blue Plan, AT&T, which was 240. for a year of unlimited talk/text and 5GB data per month. It's been good so far for me. Oh, and I also ...
by robphoto
Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering purchasing a new point-and-shoot camera
Replies: 25
Views: 1719

Re: Considering purchasing a new point-and-shoot camera

Either of the cameras you list would do a good job for you. You might prefer the Canon because it has the same control logic as your current camera, but either is good. I definitely concur with the recommendation to buy from B&H, Adorama, or another well-known outfit. If you can get to a shop that c...
by robphoto
Wed Apr 24, 2019 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Which tax lots to sell?
Replies: 10
Views: 980

Re: Which tax lots to sell?

At the end of last year, I sold shares of two companies I had owned since the early nineties, because they were a larger part of the portfolio than I thought was good, and bought a total market ETF to replace them. I sold the lots with the highest cost, to pay less taxes, and eventually I will put t...
by robphoto
Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation home experiences?
Replies: 35
Views: 3776

Re: Vacation home experiences?

For us, it was a good thing to buy a vacation cottage. Very modest, one of 10 cottages in a small group 10 min. walk to the beach, 3 small bedrooms, a bath, and a big main kitchen/dining/living room. About 1 hour from our main home. Fortunately we bought it in 1999, thinking, "stocks seem kind of ex...
by robphoto
Mon Apr 22, 2019 6:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: update 70s kitchen or nah?
Replies: 49
Views: 3976

Re: update 70s kitchen or nah?

I think you should do it, as least to get yourselves nice floor, cabinet doors, and countertops. When you describe the half-broken, coming apart materials, it sounds like you find it depressing. You may or may not get the money back when/if you sell, but it seems worth doing to feel better about you...
by robphoto
Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone have a child model?
Replies: 42
Views: 4805

Re: Anyone have a child model?

You asked if you had to go "all in," or if you could do it just a little; you can certainly do it just a little, or just once. Often they are looking for babies at a certain stage: responds, but doesn't roll over yet; can sit up, but won't crawl away, etc. If there are any child product companies ne...
by robphoto
Fri Apr 12, 2019 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investing gift from grandma
Replies: 46
Views: 3679

Re: Investing gift from grandma

I suppose shares in a total stock market fund are sensible, but I think the point of this is to own something that the child can picture as a real thing as they grow, so I vote for Disney. You could also ask Grandma what she likes, she might enjoy thinking about it and having her grandchild own some...